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So you are trying to reduce your carbohydrates, but you still do not consider ketosis or benefits. Nowadays, many people opt for low carb foods, but they may not realize what their daily limit for carbohydrates looks like. And when you follow a ketogenic diet, you do not just eat a little carbohydrate, we need to understand what it means and what foods to limit or eliminate. Without the right information, we can avoid consuming "hidden carbohydrates" that slide under the radar.
In order to stay in ketosis on the keto diet, you usually do not want to exceed 30 grams of carbohydrates a day. This may vary from person to person, but we will use it here as a general rule. It may be surprising to see how fast this figure increases if you are not careful or do not have the habit of monitoring sneaky carbs.
You may be surprised to see how many daily foods, even whole foods, contain nearly a portion. To help you become familiar with the amount of carbohydrate in foods, let's talk about some of these items and their carbohydrate count.
Note that all carbohydrate amounts listed below are the net carbohydrates found in each food, which means that nondigestible carbohydrates such as fiber are not counted. Net carbs are what counts for the total per day.
Keto Chocolate Snacks
Sugar. Dirty. Decadent. Finally, you can enjoy healthy chocolate snacks without artificial sugars.
Popular drinks and snacks are the worst offenders, even those who pretend to be "healthy". Let's see:
- Coca Cola, 12 oz (1 box) – 35g
- Starbucks latte, large size with 2% milk – 19g
- Red Bull, 12 oz (1 box) – 40g
- Green Machine Smoothie, 1 bottle of 15 oz – 63g
- Hershey Barre, 1 bar – 25g
- M & Ms, normal size bag – 33g
- Reese Peanut Butter Cups, 1 pack – 22g
- Haribo Gummy Bears, pack of 5 oz – 33g
Cereals (even "healthy"):
- Cheerios, 1 cup – 17g
- Shredded Wheat, 1 cup – 39g
- Special K Original, 1 cup – 22g
- GoLean Crunch, 1 cup – 20g
Health bars (they may look great on the label before, but when you check the nutrition label …):
- Clif Bar, Chocolate Chip, 1 bar – 41g
- Lenny & Larry's Chocolate Chip Cookies, 1 Biscuit – 40 g
- Kind Bar, Dark Chocolate with Peanut Butter, 1 bar – 13g
I hope this will help demonstrate how snack foods can derail your daily carbohydrates. The higher the number of processed products, the more the carbohydrates may be problematic.
Also watch out for cheeses, coffee creams, spreads, sour creams, ricotta, cream cheese and yogurt usually have carbohydrates (a container of flavored yogurt Dannon contains 30 g of carbohydrates), especially the lightened versions. Opt for healthy versions like raw cream or cheeses, grass-fed butter, whole yogurt (no added sugar, which contains about 6 grams of carbohydrate per container), kefir or Perfect Keto bars.
Dressings can be full of added sugars and carbohydrates, not to mention hydrogenated oils and even rancid oils. Although we know that the craze for low-fat products is surpassed, there are still "low-fat" and "low-calorie" products that boast of being in good health. Do not buy in that; they have to use something to replace the satisfactory nature of the fat, and that's the sugar. This includes low-fat or low-fat condiments such as peanut butters and "light" salad dressings.
Also do not forget that a typical portion of a label is two tablespoons, which is inferior to most people and easy to use. Always check for labels and opt for homemade salad dressings such as oils and vinegars, spices or herbs, avocado, etc., or healthy bottle-like vinaigrettes, such as those from Primal Kitchen, as well as possible.
Juices and sauces
Most ordinary sauces contain flours and sugars for flavor and thickness. So be careful with these, especially when eating out. And this cabbage salad with its cabbage and mayonnaise may seem like a good idea, but many side dishes include added sugar with fat.
It's best to avoid dishes like this and create your own low-carb versions at home.
Yes, nuts can certainly be part of a ketogenic diet, but not all nuts are created equal. Pay attention to these high-carbohydrate nuts (carbs per 1-oz serving):
- Chestnuts – 13.6g
- Cashew nuts – 8.4g
- Pistachios – 5.8g
- Peanuts – 3.8g
Stick to more fat and low carbohydrate varieties and do not overdo it. (For more information on keto compatible nuts and keeping them low in carbohydrates, see this article.) Also make sure all your choices are raw and they are neither candied nor sweet, and avoid mixtures of sand mixed with nuts. dried fruits.
Most fruits are best avoided completely on the keto diet. This is because just a handful can blow up your carbohydrate intake for the day. See here:
- Banana, medium – 25 g
- Apple, average – 18g
- Orange, medium size – 15g
- Grapes, 1 cup – 15g
- Cherries, ½ cup – 9g
- Kiwi, medium size – 8g
- Blueberries, ½ cup – 7g
- Strawberries, ½ cup – 6g
- Raspberries, ½ cup – 3g
- Ripe, ½ cup – 4g
As you can see, berries are best for staying low in carbohydrates, but it's best to use them only for special occasions, such as in desserts. Although a half cup does not seem too serious, it is only a handful, and most people eat more than that in one sitting. See this post to see the size of the visual portions of some of these fruits.
Let's be clear: we need our vegetables. It is important to obtain these valuable micronutrients contained in vegetables. That being said, not all vegetables are equal. Vegetables that grow underground, especially starchy foods, are generally higher in carbohydrates:
- Potato, 1 big cooked – 54g
- Potatoes, 1 cup puree – 34g
- Hashed potatoes, 1 cup – 50g
- Sweet potato, 1 medium cooked – 20g
- Sweet potatoes, 1 cup puree – 55g
- Yams, 1 medium-large cooked – 28g
- Parsnips, 1 cup sliced - 17g
All you need is a serving or less of potatoes to satisfy (or almost double!) Your carbohydrates for the day. Now, in comparison, let's look at some vegetarian options more compatible with the keto:
- Spinach, 1 cup raw – 0.4g
- Cauliflower, 1 cup raw – 3g
- Broccoli, 1 cup of raw – 4g
- Kale, 1 cup raw – 6g
- Cucumber, 1 cup chopped – 4g
- Zucchini, 1 cup raw – 3g
In the end, vegetables are healthy and good for you; we simply need to focus on low carbohydrate varieties and understand the big differences in carbohydrate amounts.
Yes, some processed meats also contain hidden carbohydrates. In deli meats, ham, meatloaf, bacon and sausages, sugar and starch are often added. So always read the labels. Avoid people labeled as "low fat" or "ultra-lean" because they usually contain more waste.
Canned fish products may also contain starch or sugar in their sauces.
For more foods that may look low in carbs but are not good for the keto, check out our list of foods to avoid when on a keto diet.
Calculation of net carbs
In addition to knowing how to estimate the average amount of carbohydrate in a food, we need to be able to easily count the net carbohydrates in labeled foods. All you have to do is find the total number of grams of carbohydrates, the total number of grams of fiber and subtract the fiber from the carbs. Use this number for your daily carbohydrate lot.
Even whole foods and packaged foods that claim to be "healthy" contain carbohydrates that we must avoid when we go to keto. Understanding what a daily carbohydrate limit looks like with everyday foods can make it easier to count carbohydrates on a ketogenic diet. And remember, the best way to know exactly what you consume is to eat fresh and complete keto foods and cook at home as much as possible. Your health will thank you.